If you’re looking for a great way to protect your gear and increase aerodynamics while still providing easy access to whatever you decide to store in the bed of your truck, investing in a tonneau cover is an excellent option. Tonneau covers offer protection from rain, snow and even theft; they also add a sleek look to your pickup truck while helping improve fuel efficiency since it decreases drag on the back of your vehicle.
However, before buying a tonneau cover for your truck there are certain factors you should consider, such as what type of siding or material would best suit the needs of both yourself and the cargo that will need transporting as well as knowing how much money you’re willing to invest into this piece of equipment.
In this blog post we will be uncovering all these considerations so that by the end, you’ll not only have all necessary information needed when purchasing but ultimately know just how much should be allocated towards acquiring a tonneau cover.
How Much Should You Spend On A Tonneau Cover?
The price range for tonneau covers is quite vast, starting from as low as $100 to $200 for basic, soft roll-up covers, and soaring up to $2,000 for high-end, retractable models. Cost factors include the material, design, brand, and additional features.
The most inexpensive options are typically soft tonneau covers. Made from materials like vinyl, these covers offer basic protection from weather elements and prying eyes, but their durability may be lacking compared to more robust models. Expect to pay somewhere between $100 to $300 for these covers.
Hard tonneau covers, on the other hand, are more robust and provide better security. These covers are made from materials like aluminum, fiberglass, or hard plastic and can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. They are more difficult to install but last longer and offer better protection for your cargo.
At the top of the price range, you’ll find retractable tonneau covers. These covers are designed for ultimate convenience and security, often coming with key locks, LED lighting, and other premium features. They can be made from various materials, including aluminum, polycarbonate, and even high-grade vinyl. Prices for these high-end models can range from $1,000 up to $2,000.
Remember, the most expensive option isn’t always the best for your needs. It’s important to factor in how often you’ll use your cover and what you’ll be using it for.
If you only occasionally need to cover your truck bed and don’t mind a bit of manual labor, a cheaper, soft tonneau cover could be a perfect fit. If, however, you regularly haul valuable equipment and need the best protection and convenience, investing in a high-end model could be worth the extra cost.
How To Find The Right Cover For You
When choosing the right tonneau cover for your needs, start by evaluating the frequency and purpose of use. Ask yourself questions like, ‘How often will I use my truck for cargo transportation?’ ‘What type of items will I be hauling?’ ‘Will I be using my truck for work, recreation, or both?’ These questions will help you determine the level of durability and security you need.
Consider the climate where you live. If you live in an area with severe weather conditions, a hard or retractable tonneau cover can offer better protection against rain, snow, and UV rays. If you reside in a relatively mild climate, a soft cover might be sufficient.
Next, think about ease of installation and use. Most soft covers are easier to install and can be rolled up quickly when you need to load or unload cargo. Hard and retractable covers, while providing better security, are often heavier and may require more time and effort to install and operate. Decide which trade-off suits your lifestyle.
Keep in mind the maintenance aspect as well. Covers made from materials like vinyl or fabric may require regular cleaning and conditioning to keep them looking great, while aluminum or fiberglass covers are generally low-maintenance.
Lastly, factor in the aesthetics. Although a tonneau cover is primarily a functional accessory, it can also greatly enhance the look of your truck. Choose a style and color that complements your vehicle.
Remember that a tonneau cover is an investment in the longevity and functionality of your truck. Therefore, it’s worth allocating a reasonable budget to get a high-quality product that meets your needs.
When deciding how much to spend on a tonneau cover, consider the long-term benefits and potential savings on fuel and maintenance costs. After all, a good cover can help you safeguard your cargo, improve fuel efficiency, and enhance your truck’s appearance.
How To Measure Your Truck Bed For a Tonneau Cover
Before you purchase a tonneau cover, it’s vital to measure your truck bed accurately. This will ensure that the cover fits perfectly and provides maximum protection for your cargo. Without proper measurements, you may end up with a cover that either doesn’t fit or leaves gaps where rain and dust can get in.
Measuring your truck bed for a tonneau cover is not a complex task and can be done with a simple tape measure and a few minutes of your time. Start by measuring the length of your truck bed. Do this by measuring from the inside edge of the top of your truck bed’s tailgate to the inside edge of the top of your truck bed’s bulkhead.
Next, measure the width of your truck bed. Again, make sure to measure from the inside edges. This measurement should be taken at both the front and rear of your truck bed, and at the center. Some truck beds may be wider at one end than the other.
It’s crucial to measure the truck bed’s length and width, but don’t forget about the depth. Though not as crucial, knowing the depth can help you understand how much cargo you can safely carry with the tonneau cover closed.
Keep in mind, truck manufacturers often give their truck bed sizes based on the outside dimensions and not the inside dimensions, which can lead to confusion when purchasing a tonneau cover. Therefore, always take your measurements to ensure the best fit.
Once you’ve taken your measurements, you can use them to find a tonneau cover that fits your truck bed perfectly. Remember, a well-fitted tonneau cover will provide the best protection for your cargo and contribute to improved fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag.
Investing in a tonneau cover is not a decision to be taken lightly. The right cover can provide much needed protection for your truck’s cargo and enhance your vehicle’s aesthetics and fuel efficiency. Equally, a poorly chosen cover can prove inconvenient and insufficient for your needs.
Consider all the factors mentioned before making your decision, from the type of items you will be hauling to the climate you live in. The frequency of use should also influence the type of cover you choose, as should the ease of installation and maintenance requirements.
Remember, the most expensive cover is not always the best for your needs. However, considering the long-term benefits and potential savings on fuel and maintenance costs, it may be worthwhile investing in a high-quality tonneau cover.
Finally, always ensure that you take accurate measurements of your truck bed before purchasing a cover. A well-fitted tonneau cover not only looks good, but also provides the best protection for your cargo and contributes to improved fuel efficiency.
Your truck is an investment, and a tonneau cover can help protect that investment. Choose wisely and your tonneau cover will serve you well for many years.